SOC vs SIEM: What’s the Difference and Do You Need Them?

soc vs siem

SOCs and SIEMs are crucial cybersecurity tools in the modern world. They help bolster your security systems against cyber attacks, which are becoming increasingly commonplace. Don’t just take our word for it:

  • 39% of UK businesses reported a cyber attack in the past 12 months. 
  • 31% of businesses that reported an attack said they were targeted once a week. 
  • The average cost of a cyber attack was £4,200, increasing to £19,400 for medium and large-sized businesses.1

A data breach can have a detrimental impact on any business, resulting in damage to brand reputation and significant financial losses. Not only do they help protect your systems from attacks, but SOCs and SIEMs also help you meet some of the Cyber Essentials and ISO criteria. These standards are important for any business looking to protect their data and IT infrastructure.

So while you need a SOC and SIEM to be cybersecure in today’s technological world, what exactly are they? And how do they work? In this article, we will discuss what a SOC and a SIEM is, the SOC vs SIEM relationship, the challenges of working with them, and how to get the most out of these tools.

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What is a SOC?

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is a centralised location within a business where security teams monitor, detect and respond to cyber threats. Potential attacks include malware attacks, phishing emails and email hacking.

It’s a hub for every cyber event that happens within the organisation. Specialists staffing the SOC then decide what to do with the events that are logged.

What are the benefits of a SOC?

  1. 24/7 Network monitoring: A SOC will continuously monitor your IT infrastructure to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities. 
  2. Reduced Costs: Building a SOC costs money, but recovering from a data breach can cost significantly more. A SOC should pay for itself over time and lead to long-term cost savings for your business. 
  3. Faster Response Times: A SOC will give you a centralised, real-time view of how your network is performing from a security perspective. This means you can respond to a security event immediately before it becomes more serious.
  4. Protect Customer Data: In a recent survey, 86% of the respondents said they are concerned about data privacy.2 Building a SOC will help to protect your customers’ personal data and build trust.

How Dr Logic offers you more 

Here at Dr Logic, we partner with businesses and work alongside them to optimise and improve cybersecurity across the board. Our SOC system reviews the suspicious logs as it receives them. If it sees something it thinks might be an information security risk, or of any immediate concern, it alerts the Dr Logic team so we can look into it. We routinely review the SOC reports and raise any anomalies with the client.

We partner closely with your business to understand your cyberattack risk level and any unique requirements you might need. If you operate solely in the UK and suddenly there’s a login from Russia, for example, that’s an immediate red flag to the SOC. This means we can improve the efficiency of your SOC system by applying rules for suspicious activities at a client level.

What is a SIEM?

A Security Information and Event Management system (SIEM) is a security solution that collects and analyses network traffic and resources from across your IT infrastructure. If suspicious activity is found, then an alert is sent to a SOC analyst so the necessary security precautions can be taken. 

How do a SOC and a SIEM work together? 

The SIEM solution monitors and analyses log data and the SOC logs and responds to any suspicious activity identified by the SIEM log analysis. The SIEM looks for and identifies suspicious activity, while the SOC takes that suspicious activity and decides what to do with it. Both tools complement each other, and form an integral part of your cybersecurity solution. 

Can I have a SOC without a SIEM? 

It is possible to have a SOC without a SIEM, but this can leave your business vulnerable as the two tools are designed to work together. Without a SIEM, the security team might not have the right information and tools to carry out effective threat detection and response. And it adds an element of human error into the equation.

How Dr Logic offers you more 

At Dr Logic, our SIEM constantly collects all the activity logs from our client’s devices and cloud services. If someone logs into their account from an unusual location, for example, or is granted access to a restricted account, our SIEM sends that to the SOC. The SIEM looks for patterns in unusual activity and when it sees something it doesn’t like the look of in the logs, it alerts the SOC (Security Operations Centre).

Our SIEM also takes in live feeds from threat intelligence, which means the SIEM receives real-time information on potential threats like the latest malware and suspicious IP addresses. The Dr Logic SIEM takes in 6 open-source feeds, including Malware Bazaar and Anomali. This protects your data and network around the clock and ensures a rapid incident response when potential threats are detected.

Key takeaways 

  • A SOC and a SIEM are two cybersecurity tools that work together to identify suspicious activity and protect your data and IT infrastructure. 
  • This will allow you to recognise a security event or threat in real-time and take action before it has a chance to disrupt your business. 
  • Dr Logic can provide a SOC and SIEM service alongside our other advanced cybersecurity technology, expert IT consultancy, and customised solutions.

Challenges of working with SOC and SIEM

Limited storage 

Modern businesses generate huge quantities of data and SOC and SIEM systems can quickly become overloaded. To overcome this, businesses need sufficient storage space to log all the data recorded. 

False positives

SOC and SIEM systems are flooded with huge amounts of data and false positives are inevitable. A recent survey found that most businesses have over 10,000 alerts per day, while 27% of businesses handle more than 1 million every day.3

Dealing with a high number of false positives can lead to SOC analyst fatigue. This can reduce the efficiency of your security teams and even potentially increase the risk of human error.

Rule-based detection

SIEM systems operate on rules which help to streamline and automate the cyber threat hunting process. However, if the rules don’t cover every potential threat, a security incident could be missed and cause significant disruption to your business.

Pro Tip: Establishing broad rules that cover all major security threats, alongside specific rules customised to your business, will help ensure the SIEM detects and captures all major threats. This is why we offer our clients unique rules that are customised to their business requirements. Our Cybersecurity Service can help with this. 

White noise 

SOCs receive huge amounts of information and not all of it is relevant. False positives increase white noise for security teams and can overload them with alerts. Filtering through alerts and investigating potential threats takes time and it can be difficult for a SOC analyst to decide when cyber threats are genuine or simply false positives. Without proper staffing, SOC analysts can quickly get overwhelmed.

Set up time

Building a SOC and SIEM system takes time. Often, this is for good reason as the rules and systems for SOCs and SIEMs must be set up correctly to ensure they function properly. You should always leave this task to the experts to make sure that the system is implemented seamlessly.

The solution? Find an expert partner

Working closely with an IT partner, such as Dr Logic, means we get to know your business and its risks before any set-up takes place, making the set-up much smarter and the process as smooth as possible. 

Once implemented, our team of cybersecurity specialists will then have the tools and business-specific expertise to ensure that all your potential threats are detected and dealt with effectively. 

Getting the most out of your SOC and SIEM systems

Almost 40% of UK businesses identified a cyber attack made against their business over the last year.4 Cyber Essentials is a great way to take a systematic and structured approach to protect your business from cyber attacks like these.

But we recommend going one step further by implementing a SOC and SIEM. This can be a cost-effective way to meet some of the key requirements of Cyber Essentials, and put you in a much stronger position to prevent a breach before it happens. 

At Dr Logic, we can help. Our SOC and SIEM systems help you monitor, detect and respond to cyber threats before they’re able to cause any harm. On top of this, we can apply unique rules that are customised to your business to ensure that every security threat is captured and handled swiftly.

As an expert outsourced IT partner, we can monitor your SOC reports and highlight suspicious activity which means you can focus on the most important thing: driving growth and profits in your business.

If you’re looking to build a more secure cybersecurity solution with the help of an outsourced SOC and a SIEM system, get in contact with us today to find out how we can help you.

IT Partnership

1  Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 – GOV.UK 

2  Data privacy is a growing concern for more consumers

3  Survey: 27 Percent of IT professionals receive more than 1 million security alerts daily | Imperva 

4  Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 – GOV.UK 

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